He's New Here
Since releasing Gil Scott-
Heron's I'm New Here in
February, XL Recordings has
done a great job at keeping
the album alive by issuing re-
mixes from Mos Def and the
like, but I was particularly
taken by this video for his ver-
sion of Smog's "I'm New Here."
Bill Callahan may have penned the lyrics, but Scott-Heron's
heartfelt interpretation makes it sound as if they were designed
just for him--and also reflect his journey through difficult times.
According to the press notes, the Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard-
directed clip "was recorded live in Clinton Recording Studio, NY
with the engineer Lawson White. (This is where much of the album
was recorded and mixed). Pat Sullivan (XX) is featured on guitar."
Forsyth and Pollard add, "Some things should be kept simp-
le; no messing, no gimmicks. This video was shot with com-
pletely live sound, with half an eye looking back on classic
footage of performers like John Lee Hooker and Bob Dyl-
an. We wanted to shoot something bold and direct, that
captured something of Gil's remarkable presence and
the raw power of his performance. We filmed him the
day before walking around his neighborhood in Har-
lem then on the day we returned with Gil to the
studio where much of his new album had been
recorded. There's no narrative here, this is
a deliberately simple video for a decep-
tively simple and beautiful song."
***** ***** ***** ***** *****
Endnote: Click here for my review of I'm New
Here. Image from Oregon Public Broadcasting.